Monday, July 20, 2009

CSAAC and Making It Work

Well, it has been an interesting few days. My parents were here for the weekend (which is a nice thing) and they got to see how much the twins have improved in the last 3 months (or so) since they've last seen them. They seemed to be quite impressed. And Kevin and I got some time to ourselves (went to see the new Harry Potter movie [HIGHLY recommend it for any Harry Potter fans out there]) -- something that we really need to do a much better job incorporating into our lives. But, that's not why we're here right now....

After my parents left (almost immediately), a representative from CSAAC arrived to inspect our house and determine what (if anything) was needed (by us or them) in order to make the in-home ABA work. I told them that they'd be working in the twins' bedroom and I had purchased a table and chair from Walmart (that I still need to assemble) for the actual trials. But, by working in there (as opposed to the basement or other common area), hopefully, there will be fewer distractions and they should be more successful in engaging Rachel, once she decides she's willing to be engaged. And, it looked like she agreed!!!! So, one thing I've planned is working as I've imagined.

I also asked her (since she's the one coordinating this whole thing) when she anticipates we'd be ready to start. She predicts before the end of the month all the pieces will be in place. So, this moved along a lot faster than we were led to believe. When we spoke to the psychologist at their facility, they predicted it would take about a month, and that estimate turned out to be true. The only problem is that we're going out of town for 10 days at the end of the month. When I informed her of this, she told me no problem and we'll probably just wait until we get back so we won't be starting and stopping. In the meantime, I still have to make another trip to their facility in Brookeville for another evaluation which will hopefully take place on Friday (of this week) and then we should have everything ready for when we return.

Another question I had was, for my own sanity, trying to get an estimate on how long Rachel's misery would last. Everyone I've talked to (their social worker, the psychologist [both for the county and CSAAC]), teachers, my own experiences, etc.) informed me that at first Rachel is going to HATE it and will scream through most of the sessions. She told me that it's very individual, but most often things get better in about 2 weeks or so. So, I'm now getting ready of 2 weeks of misery (with both Daniel and Simon in the house since we have no camps set up for August) and hoping that particular prediction is longer than reality (but not hopeful -- it will likely take longer given that it's Rachel -- she can be quite stubborn when she wants to be).

So, this is finally starting to settle in a bit. I've explained again that I can be as flexible as possible with my schedule, but because of the different activities for the 3 kids, there's a limit to how much I can give them. Hopefully, they can work things out with the schedule I sent them last week and it won't prove to drive me insane.

Finally, this week, both Rachel and Simon will be joining the Wednesday class at their current school (mainly [probably] so that I can join the parent group that meets at the same time). This has been something that the social worker has been trying to set up since May, but it was felt that Rachel would have problems in this group. However, after my breakdown in June, I think it became more of a priority to get this set up (like I said, I think this is being done FAR more for my benefit then for the kids). They have said they will make this work (had a planning meeting among themselves 2 weeks ago to come up with a "strategy"). Hopefully, all will go smoothly and there will be no long-lasting scars felt by anyone.

As we learn more, I'll continue to post the stories.....


  1. Hello! My name is Maria. I'm trying to find parents in montgomery county that have experience working with CSAAC. I have a 3.5 years old son diagnosed with autism a year ago. We're looking into early intervention services from CSAAC. My friend used to work there as a therapist and she tells me they are the best she has seen. I still have not been able to meet any parents that go services from them. My email is I want to learn more about your experience with CSAAC. Thanks!

  2. MM -- I hope you will see this response. There is quite a lengthy explanation that I would like to provide to you. I will write a post (I will email you the link) and try to get it up over the next few days (if I can do it tonight, I will). I cannot make any promises. Our time with CSAAC was in the middle of so many other things that they really can't be separated out into an easy answer.